Scoop it up! How to whip up Banana and Peanut Butter Ice-cream

Along with many others around the world, Australian’s really love ice cream.

In fact, we hold the bronze medal position in the Top 5 ice cream consuming countries in the world. Ice cream eating prowess is not included in the Olympic games but if it ever makes an appearance we are ready to go!

The deliciousness of this cold creamy treat presents itself in many flavours and combinations with the classic vanilla being the favourite flavour in most countries. It’s mine too.

Yet despite how much I love ice cream, there is the downside of eating too much of it. As much as we might try, we can’t completely ignore the fat, sugar, cream, emulsifiers and gums that accompany this cool dessert.

With summer almost (maybe) upon us, it seems like the perfect time to whip up something cold and creamy. One of my all time favourite flavour combo’s is Banana and Peanut Butter, so for me this was the natural place to start.

Bananas are naturally sweet and are a fabulous source of carbohydrate, potassium and Vitamin B6 making them the go-to fruit for a burst of energy. They also freeze and blend really well, which means they are the ideal base for ice cream.

Peanut butter provides the goods in the protein and healthy fats department and provides just the right savoury flavour to put with banana for a yummy ice cream.

The best thing is – making Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream is SO simple and takes approximately 10 seconds to make.

Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

1. Break up two frozen banana’s into pieces and place in a Vitamix or blender with 1 ½ tablespoons natural crunchy peanut (or other nut) butter.

2. Blitz until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is a bit stiff, just add a teensy dash of milk.

3. Serve with with fresh slices of banana. Serves 2.

Check out How to Make this Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream in action here.

This ice cream is an ideal snack or dessert that is low in fat and sugar.

All you need to do now is enjoy and congratulate yourself on your ice-cream making skills without any added nasties!

Going Nuts

Yesterday afternoon, I walked into the home of one of my dear friends to be greeted by the wafting aroma of something delicious baking in the oven. Not only was she baking a cake for afternoon tea but being super organised, she had modified the recipe to: reduce the fat content but include more unsaturated fats, increase the fibre content by adding more fruit and lower the sugar content. And last but certainly not least, this friend of mine had taken the photo required to post it all on social media! This girl is a keeper.

Needless to say the cake delivered all that the aroma promised plus the inclusion of ground and slivered almonds fitted rather nicely into the Nuts for Life #nuts30days30ways campaign. In Australia, we are very much under performing in the nuts department by consuming on average just 6g per day, which is well below the recommended 30g daily handful.

Eating nuts every day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes but can also help manage cholesterol and body weight. That might sound contradictory as nuts do contain fat (albeit the healthy kind) but these little morsels can actually help you manage your body weight. Nuts also contain much needed protein which helps regulate appetite and prolongs the feeling of being full – meaning that you don’t feel the need to pounce on anything that isn’t nailed down every 5 minutes.

Nuts of all kinds are such a great addition to a meal or a handy, portable snack that you can keep in your bag or desk.

Grinding nuts into meal to use in cakes, biscuits, protein balls or smoothies does not result in any nutrient loss and is just another easy way to get nuts into your day. Of course, eating cake every day is not as nutritious as eating a handful of nuts – but it is important to include some luxury items into your diet too!

This Apricot and Almond Cake is a great source of nuts, beta carotene, fibre and Vitamin C courtesy of the apricots and nectarines and is low in saturated fat. Of course, it is an excellent source of deliciousness too.

Apricot and Almond Cake

Ingredients

160ml olive oil
200g SR flour
150g ground almonds
180g raw sugar
150 ml milk
3 large free range eggs beaten
3 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
6 ripe apricots (or tinned apricot halves)
I used 2 sliced nectarines as well!
1 tblspn runny honey
50g slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan forced.
Grease and line a square cake pan with baking paper.

Place all dry ingredients into a food processor or thermomix and whiz together. Add the wet ingredients – oil, milk, eggs, vanilla – as well as the lemon zest and whiz again until all combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin.

Place apricot halves and nectarine slices in a random order on top for a rustic effect. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake for 1 hour, then set aside to cool in the tin for 20 mins.

Serve just as it is or with Greek yoghurt.

How to make an easy Ancient Grain Salad

ancient grain salad I do love the discovery of a good salad and this one is a beauty! Full of lovely colour, fibre, protein and Vitamin C and the perfect lunch or side for dinner. Ancient Grain Salad with Pomegranate You’ll need: 1 Cup freekah (green cracked wheat, pronounced freak-ah) ½ cup puy lentils/French green lentils – dry A small handful each of pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds and pine nuts, roasted in oven ½ cup (75gms) currants Large handful of fresh flat leaf parsley and coriander leaves– coarsely chopped ½ Spanish red onion – finely diced 40gm or 2 tablespoons baby capers (drained and rinsed) Juice of 1 large lemon Dash of good quality extra virgin olive oil Salt and cracked black pepper to taste Mix together the following for your dressing: 1 cup Greek style natural yogurt 1 teaspoon of ground cumin (feel free to freshly grind if you like) 1 tablespoon of honey 1 fresh pomegranate To make the salad: Put lentils and freekeh on the boil in two separate saucepans. Bring freekeh to a simmer and cook for about 30mins till tender but still a little of a bite to it. Lentils won’t need quite as long – bring to boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain and cool both when cooked respectively. Chop up herbs coarsely, onion finely and mix through lentils and freekah when cooled. Squeeze lemon juice on top of salad and fold through gently. Fold through ¾ of the seeds, currants and capers just before serving, reserving the rest of the seeds to decorate. Season with pepper and salt. To serve, put half of the dressing on top of the salad, garnish with remaining seeds and fresh pomegranate seeds. Remaining dressing can go into a small bowl with a spoon to serve.